Peugeot has today revealed the 2011 Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, touted as the world's first production diesel-electric hybrid, with Mercedes-Benz' E300 BlueTech diesel hybrid still yet to make its market debut.
Previewed late last year, the ultra-green 3008 is powered by PSA Peugeot Citroen's Hybrid4 technology. This is described as a parallel system allowing for motivation to be provided in any of three states: diesel-only, electric-only, or the two working in tandem.
The 3008 Hybrid4 combines a 120kW 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine powering the front wheels, with a 20kW (up to 27kW) rear-mounted electric motor powering the rear wheels, allowing for a four-wheel-drive mode when the engine and electric motor work together.
Fuel consumption is listed at 3.8 l/100km on the European combined cycle, and CO2 emissions are rated at 99g/km.
Peugeot says the 3008 Hybrid4 is capable of a total combined output of 150kW and a combined maximum torque of 500Nm: 300Nm at the front wheels and 200Nm at the rear.
Together, the Hybrid4 system will propel the 3008 to 100km/h in a claimed 8.8 seconds. Top speed is listed as 210km/h.
The turbo-diesel engine, which is also equipped with a stop-start system, is paired with an electronically-controlled six-speed sequential transmission.
Speaking with TMR today, Peugeot Australia's Richard Grand described the 3008 Hybrid4 as a more sophisticated example of the technology than that offered by other carmakers.
"The 3008 HYbrid4 really moves the whole hybrid genre on to another, more sophisticated and pragmatic level. An electric engine at the rear negates the traditional compromise which has to occur with hybrids," Mr Grant said.
"Most hybrid cars have to fit the internal combustion engine and the electric motor together up front with the gearbox, which often means smaller capacity conventional motors and/or fewer cylinders… which in turn can compromise performance and possibly even fuel efficiency."
Driving in 'Auto' mode, electric and diesel power are managed entirely by the Hybrid4 system. Switching to 'ZEV' mode moves the 3008 under electric power only, and '4WD' mode utilises both the diesel and electric motors for a semi-constant all-wheel-drive system.
A 'Sports' mode is also available, using the maximum output offered by the combined system.
The electric motor is supported by an energy recovery system that draws on energy created during deceleration, using it to recharged the Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack beneath the boot floor.
European sales are expected to begin in mid-2011. An Australian launch is unclear at this early stage, although Peugeot Australia has made its interest known to headquarters.
"At this point we are still working with Automobiles Peugeot on the car for Australia and no firm decision has yet been made as to whether it will come here," Mr Grant said.
"It’s early days and there is a lot more work to do. If it goes ahead, then quarter three of 2011 may be possible. But without doubt we’re keen, and our intention is to see it happen."